Even in victory, Jeonbuk Hyundai veteran Han Gyo-won was not smiling.
The veteran scored the game-winning goal in the 16th minute of stoppage time to give Jeonbuk a 2-1 victory over Kitchee SC (Hong Kong) in the first leg of their 2023-2024 Asian Football Confederation Champions League Group F match at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on Tuesday.
Han’s goal helped Jeonbuk snap a five-match winless streak in the K League (three draws and two losses). However, Han was not all smiles. After the goal, he didn’t cheer or perform any flashy gestures. Instead, he clasped his hands together and made an apologetic gesture toward the crowd.
“Jeonbuk is a team that should be shutting down,” Han said after the game in the joint press area. However, I felt personally stressed and responsible because of their recent poor scoring performance, and I felt a lot of pride and apology, so I was unable to perform the ceremony.”
Indeed, Jeonbuk struggled against a team that was several numbers below them. They couldn’t easily break through the dense defense and only won by one goal. They were also in danger of conceding the tying goal due to a lack of defensive concentration. “Many people must have thought that we should have won the match against Kitchee. I also thought we should win,” said Han, adding, “It was not an easy game today. I felt that no team can win if they are complacent or do not prepare thoroughly,” he said calmly.
Recently, Jeonbuk’s mood has dropped significantly. The team’s winless streak has been prolonged, and public opinion of coach Dan Petrescu has deteriorated earlier than expected. “It’s just an excuse to say that a new coach has come and we’re struggling to adapt to him,” Han said. “The players and staff should be more eager to win. They need to look back and reflect on themselves to become a better team,” he wrote.
Jeonbuk is currently in sixth place in the K League 1. They have the same number of points as seventh-place Incheon United, so there is a chance they could drop to Final B depending on the results of their remaining three matches in the regular round. For Han, who joined Jeonbuk in 2014 and enjoyed the glory days, this is an embarrassing slump. “Jeonbuk is different from the past,” he said. A lot of players have come and gone, and I hope the newer players have a clear understanding of the pride and tradition of Jeonbuk. There may be growing pains, but we need to maintain our Jeonbuk character. I feel like I’m wasting too much time, and I’m sorry,” he said, bowing his head. Han continued, “There 바카라사이트 is very little difference in points between the teams now. We are so desperate to win. We need to score goals no matter who it is,” and urged the strikers to work hard.
On the 24th, Jeonbuk will host Gwangju FC, who have been in good form lately, in a 31st round away match. Gwangju is in third place, above Jeonbuk, and has won three straight games and is unbeaten in 10 matches (W5 D5). Jeonbuk is also a tough matchup. “Gwangju is a really solid team, and no one can ignore them. I admit that they are a strong team. We have to be alert and prepare well. We have to overcome the pressure. We have to overcome the pressure. We have to overcome it. Against Gwangju